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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Increase exposure to non-authority-figure adults

In the age of “the drop off,” parents often unfortunately look at any adults willing to spend time with their offspring as potential stand-in care-givers. This is robbing children of one of the greatest learning opportunities - the non-authority adult.

Children should be given the opportunity to spend peer time with as many adults as possible. Adults in this “peer mode,” instead of bearing the enormous burden of worrying about safety and nutrition and other liabilities, can be humorous, at ease, and honest. With parents in ear shot the other adults can be role models and endless sources of insight, not just the “person in charge du jour.” These relationships may evolve into apprentice and/or mentor models, but let it spend a long time just as friend.


  1. Yes! This is such an important point! And it goes right to heart of Learning to Be. There are probably many children, especially those who are of high ability in one or many areas, who require peer mode relationships in order to thrive. If children do not have an opportunity to be true friends with adults, and be respected by adults, then their relationship to adults is likely to remain a power-based institutional one, where adults and kids are on opposite teams no matter how prettied up the institution may be. This is probably why it is so hard for many kids to figure out how to become adults themselves.

  2. This is why I am eager to becom a retired teacher in school. I look forward to grand-prenting in school, leaving the disciplining and authoroty based relations to the teachers.
    Thank you for your perceptive and well rendered view on this important subject.